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What is Clubhouse?

M.i. Media's Paid Social Manager, Raylene Vickery, shines the spotlight on Clubhouse, a new app for casual, drop-in audio chat.

Clubhouse is a social media app that requires only one attribute of its users: their voice. Clubhouse strips back the demand for cinematic snapshots and instead revives the simplistic social aspect of networking.

If you have ever experienced a night out at Tiger Tiger Nightclub, you will understand the concept of Clubhouse. Tiger Tiger hosted up to 1,500 people across several rooms that would blast multiple music genres. Now, imagine the dancefloors were virtual rooms where a maximum of 5,000 people could enter each room and instead of blasting pop or rock’n’roll, it’s an open discussion about hot topics, educational teachings, current affairs, Twitter debates and so much more. Clubhouse classifies every member eligible to start a room and drive thought provoking conversations that will attract an immediate audience.

The biggest appeal about Clubhouse is its exclusivity - it's invite only. Members are given up to seven invites to nominate more people to join its audio community. Once you’re in, you can create a profile where you can link your socials, follow other members, and give a little information about yourself. The set-up of Clubhouse rooms is divided into a stage and an audience. The room creator has the permissions to invite users to be panel speakers and control the ‘raise a hand’ function which allows members of the audience a chance to be welcomed on stage, to voice their contribution to the topic. One great feature about Clubhouse, is that you can hop from room to room and find the ‘club’ that resonates with your interests.

Every user on Clubhouse has the potential to make a name for themselves and become influential. The topic description is usually what draws people into rooms as well as how many people are in the room. Ashleigh Louise, a Project Manager from London, hosts daily Clubhouse rooms (coaching Project Management) and has had many explosive moments where she has broken the 5,000 person limits for a room which made users create secondary listening rooms to follow the conversation. A pet peeve of Clubhouse is once a room is gone, that is it, you have missed out. To get around this, a lot of hosts create Twitter hashtags for users to follow the conversation. The intersectionality with Twitter has benefitted Clubhouse significantly, as users are able to search for that room hashtag and provide live reactions to the topic which furthers the overall engagement and hype surrounding the app.

With Clubhouse hosting over 1,000 rooms each night, there is potential for scale. As rooms are quite sporadic, it will be interesting to see how Clubhouse incorporates advertising. Brands are currently sponsoring rooms but again, the question is what sort of rooms would you want associated with your brand? This will certainly be a consideration if Clubhouse streamlines sponsoring and makes it more systematic. As rooms are live streams, there is a major risk factor in terms of brand safety, as rooms are likely to be trolled.

For many, Clubhouse has been a form of escapism. It has allowed for many including myself, to connect and not feel as isolated as my reality. With lockdown easing, it will be interesting to see the shift in the Apps daily usage. In the meantime, it might be worth downloading the app to see if it is of interest. We'll be watching to see how it competes with traditional social platforms for advertising potential.

1st image source: Clubhouse app button

2nd image source: Marco Verch